Political motives in climate and energy policy
AbstractStandard economic theory provides clear guidance on the design of cost-efficient policy in the presence of imperfect markets and externalities. However, observed policies reveal extensive discrepancies between principles and practise. Based on interviews with core politicians from the Norwegian parliament, we investigate causes for the lack of cost efficiency in climate and energy policy. We find that politicians agree with the notion of cost efficiency in principle, but rather than ascribing efficient instruments directed at specific policy goals, they include concerns for industrial and regional development, income distribution and employment in the environmental policy design. Lacking insight in the functioning of economic instruments and perceptions of a non-binding budget constraint also violate the requirements for efficient policy decisions. The findings point to the role of economists and social scientists to communicate the functioning of complex instruments. Improved compensation procedures could help reduce the politicians’ incentives to undermine efficiency in order to avoid unwanted distributional effects.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 721.
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
policy instruments; policy formulation; political processes; climate policy frameworks; energy policy;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
- Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-12-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2012-12-22 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2012-12-22 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-POL-2012-12-22 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1993. "Economic Policy, Economic Performance, and Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 27-42, March.
- Buchanan, James M & Tullock, Gordon, 1975. "Polluters' Profits and Political Response: Direct Controls Versus Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 139-47, March.
- Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton, 1993.
"Distortionary Taxes and the Provision of Public Goods,"
NBER Working Papers
3506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton, 1992. "Distortionary Taxes and the Provision of Public Goods," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 117-131, Summer.
- Timothy Besley, 1994. "Three approaches to public economics," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 197-204, October.
- Daugbjerg, Carsten & Svendsen, Gert Tinggaard, 2001. "Designing green taxes in a political context: From optimal to feasible environmental regulation," Working Papers 01-17, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Torstein Bye & Annegrete Bruvoll, 2008. "Multiple instruments to change energy behaviour: The emperor’s new clothes?," Discussion Papers 549, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
- Hahn, Robert W., 1999.
"The Impact of Economics on Environmental Policy,"
- Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
- Sergey V. Paltsev, 2001. "The Kyoto Protocol: Regional and Sectoral Contributions to the Carbon Leakage," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 53-80.
- Nyborg, Karine, 2000. "Homo Economicus and Homo Politicus: interpretation and aggregation of environmental values," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 305-322, July.
- Carolyn Fischer & Alan K. Fox, 2007. "Output-Based Allocation of Emissions Permits for Mitigating Tax and Trade Interactions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(4), pages 575-599.
- Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
- Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production: I--Production Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 8-27, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (J Bruusgaard).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.